Thursday, January 27, 2022

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Barry Cryer is seen wishing his grandson the same “higgledy-piggledy” life as he had as he felt there was never a “dull moment” in footage shown on BBC’s The One Show following his death aged 86.

The veteran comedy writer and performer made the short film in 2017 for the evening chat show where he can be seen reminiscing about his career to his grandson Archie.

Cryer’s family said in a statement on Thursday that he had died “peacefully, in good spirits and with his family around him”.

The clip shows the comedian playing with a pair of fake teeth and saying: “Laughter, a lovely noise. I’ve never had a proper job, it’s like having a lovely hobby.”

The Leeds-born performer reminisced about starting off in the Windmill Theatre in London in 1957 and recalled how he would do six shows a day, 36 shows a week with the late Bruce Forsyth.

Cryer said: “You’re young so you thought, ‘Yeah, okay’. But then you look back and think, ‘How did I do that?’

“But you did because you were learning a trade.”

He then went on to have a seven-decade career, appearing on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Billy Connolly and Tommy Cooper.

The comedian ended the clip by wishing his grandson a similarly entertaining life, saying: “I just hope Arch has the same scrambled egg, higgledy-piggledy, up-and-down life I’ve had because it’s never boring and there’s never been a dull moment. And I wish that on him with great love.”

Also during the show, broadcaster and author Gyles Brandreth paid tribute to his late friend.

He said: “My lasting memory is of somebody I’ve known, and I’m lucky enough to know a lot of great comedians, often they’re huge fun on stage, then they get off, and they’re a terrible old misery – not Barry Cryer.

“He was fun. He was Barry Cryer morning, noon and night. And all he did, he didn’t try to change the world, he just tried to make the world a happier place. Gosh, do we need Barry Cryer now.”

Brandreth joined the show wearing a black jumper with a big red heart design and said he had chosen the outfit as Cryer “had such a big heart”.

He added: “He was the most generous entertainer that you can imagine. He loved just sharing comedy.

“And he always called himself a hack, not a writer, he called himself an entertainer, not a comedian.”

The broadcaster joked that he could now get rid of his landline as Cryer was the only one who would call him up on it and tell him a joke, sometimes every day of the week.

“He always claimed that a joke was simply on lease. Nobody owns a joke. You’re the custodian of it for a while, then you’ve got to share it, and he shared with everybody,” Brandreth said.

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